MakerBot Stories | Year of the Menurkey


Jewish holidays follow a lunar calendar, and the first day of Hanukkah lands on Thanksgiving this year. It happened only once before, in 1888, but nobody called it Thanksgivukkah back then, and nobody lit a Menurkey.

Menorah + Turkey = Menurkey
A Menurkey is a mashup of a menorah, the candelabra Jews use to mark the eight nights of Hanukkah, and a turkey, the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving meal. It is the brainchild of Asher Weintraub, a 10-year-old 4th grader whose interests include 3D printing and video game design. As his father, Anthony Weintraub, tells it, Asher first drew a Menurkey on paper, then he made one out of clay.

Menurkey Meets MakerBot
The Menurkey took off only after Asher made a three-dimensional sketch using TinkerCAD, web-based modeling software. Asher didn’t have his own 3D printer, so his father got in touch with MakerBot, and the two of them came to the MakerBot headquarters in Brooklyn, N.Y., to print out Asher’s design on a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer.


From Model to Flock of Menurkeys
To get from his plastic prototype to making Menurkeys in ceramic and plaster, Asher and his parents launched a Kickstarter campaign. The campaign raised almost $50,000, nearly twice its goal. It also spread the word, figuratively and also literally. The Menurkey has been mentioned in the New York Times, on NPR, in synagogues and Jewish community centers. The Jewish Museum, in New York, ordered 2,000 Menurkeys to sell through its gift shop. The National Museum of American Jewish History, in Philadelphia, wants a 3D print of Asher’s Menurkey prototype for its permanent collection.

“This has been amazing for him, to see his idea get made,” Anthony said. And the learning experience will include figuring out what to do with the profits, or, as Asher calls them, “the Menurkey money.” Asher’s parents are socking away money for Asher’s college fund but Anthony also notes, “he’s really focused on getting himself a MakerBot Replicator 2.”

And Thanksgivukkah is just around the corner.